A PERSONAL PRAYER
God of work and play, of labor and rest,
I am so blessed to have a job I love. I get up every morning, ok most mornings, and look forward to going to work. I am thinking about the challenges of the day, the opportunities in front of me, the tasks to get completed. I have the joy of a job with such varied opportunities – the creative enterprise of teaching and preaching, the relational joys of pastoral care, the fun of working with others to lead an amazing organization in a direction, and dream together about what could be. I can even simply spend time in prayer and I get to count it as work! And at the end of the day, I can usually point to something which gave me satisfaction that day. I know how blessed I am to feel like I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, what you formed me to do. Thank you God, that I have something to do that matters, that I truly enjoy, and that provides for my own needs and that of my family. I am so grateful, and I know that it isn’t to be taken for granted.
They say that if you love your job, you won’t work a day in your life. I think they are full of it. Because even though I love my job, the work can be grueling, tedious, draining, and difficult. There are parts I don’t enjoy: conflict management, anxiety about funding, personnel issues, distractions that seem only sort of related to growing your kingdom. I know, God; nobody said it would be easy. I know I sometimes need an attitude adjustment. I know it is time to stop my whining and just do what needs to be done, counting on you, Holy Spirit, to give me the strength to not only do what is necessary, but to do it well and for your glory.
In the name of the one whose work is my salvation, Jesus the Christ,
KEY VERSES FOR THE WEEK
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. – Genesis 2:15 Read the whole passage for Sunday’s sermon here: Genesis 2:15-18.
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
What do you care enough about to put your whole self into it? How do you think it contributes to God’s purpose for creation?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This coming Wednesday night, the whole congregation is invited to join our Board of Stewards meeting at 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall. We will hear a preliminary report of the Long Range Planning Committee, which includes a proposal for a revision in the governance structure of St. Luke’s. In addition, we will take a look at a proposal for renovations to our Fellowship Hall. We hope to vote on these at a church conference later in the summer.
This Sunday is Senior Sunday at St. Luke’s, and we celebrate what God is doing in the lives of our graduating high school seniors. Students will help to lead all four of our worship services, and we will recognize all of them at our 11:00 worship service. It is always an inspiring Sunday. I will be continuing our series “Keep it Simple,” and consider the importance of working at something that matters. Come and Join us!
During the Month of May, all of our one dollar bills in the plate will go to support Sole Hope, a ministry that takes old blue jeans and turns them into shoes for vulnerable children in Africa, helping to prevent parasitic diseases while teaching and employing local Africans to make the shoes. Find out more about Sole Hope and how you can be involved here.
This is an ongoing plea to respond to our Summer Bible Study Challenge: Find a way to be in regular Bible Study with others this summer! Here at St. Luke’s you can do that in one (or more) of four ways:
1. Read the daily Bible readings in your Scripture + Shared app. Download the app here.
2. Sign up for the Bible in 90 days! You can do that here.
3. Take the “Bible 101” class to learn foundational information about the Old Testament.
4. Find a Bible Buddy, and if you didn’t do it before, go through the Journey to Jerusalem Study. The materials can be found on the Scripture + Shared app or on the website here.
We say “We study the Bible” is a habit, so let’s start a good habit this summer.
Sunday, May 21
Lord, we thank you for the gifts of the people in our lives. You work through them, bring joy through them, and show your love for us through them. We marvel at the community that you have created and give thanks every day. Amen. -Prayer by Ben Halladay
Monday, May 22
Lord, our lives are so busy and full of stressors. I pray for your peace in the midst of this hectic and hurried world. Help me to slow down, to seek your face, and to wait for your spirit. Bless those that feel overwhelmed, and help make your presence known to them. Amen. -Prayer by Rob Dulaney
Tuesday, May 23
Heavenly Father, I lift up all of those people fighting cancer. I pray that they be freed of fear, pain, and helplessness. I ask that you open their hearts to the Holy Spirit and grant them strength, hope, and love. Lord, I ask that they be healed. Amen.
Wednesday, May 24
Heavenly Father, there are people sitting beside us today, people who we work with or who we know in our circle of friends or in our own families who are hurting whether it be in body, mind, or spirit. They need your healing and comfort. Lord, be with them, and be with me as I seek to be a comfort and peace to them. In Jesus name, Amen. -Prayer by Faith Ayers
Thursday, May 25
Good and gracious God, help us to remember that we are your beloved children. When we are tempted to prove our worth on our own, all we need to do is remember that we belong to you. We love you and pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen. -Prayer by Katie Montgomery Mears
Friday, May 26
Father God, as a faithful congregation led by your will, please help us to see the social and racial strife in our world today. Give our congregation the will and spirit to be part of your solution, part of your army that leads society to respond as a loving family to build bridges between all of our brothers and sisters. Amen. -Prayer by Michael Shook
Saturday, May 27
Heavenly Father, thank you for the many blessings that you have bestowed on our congregation. I want to offer up particular thanks for the wonderful members of the Encounter service. What a joy it is to walk into Fellowship Hall on Sunday mornings and be greeted by bright smiles and joyous music praising your name. Amen. -Prayer by Michael Stryker
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